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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

World Bank approves $1.25 billion in fresh loans for the Philippines

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The World Bank’s board of directors approved $1.25 billion in fresh loans to support two Philippine government projects aimed at ensuring safe and resilient schools and bolstering economic recovery.

The bank said in a statement it would grant a $500-million loan for the Infrastructure for Safer and Resilient Schools Project. This project will support the rebuilding of schools in regions hit by recent earthquakes and typhoons.

“Education is a key component of human capital development. By improving the learning environment and making schools safer, children are more likely to attend classes, perform better academically and complete their education,” said Ndiamé Diop, the World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The project will finance repairs, rehabilitation, retrofits, reconstruction and site improvements for schools heavily damaged by natural disasters. These efforts aim to enhance learning environments for over 700,000 students, half of whom are girls.

“Strengthening the resilience of educational facilities can minimize disruptions to learning caused by natural disasters, ensuring children can continue their education with fewer interruptions,” said Fernando Ramirez Cortes, a World Bank senior disaster risk management specialist.

The project will prioritize areas with the most significant school infrastructure damage and risk, including the Cordillera Administrative Region, Caraga, Central Luzon, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Davao Region and Soccsksargen.

Another $750-million loan will fund the Philippines Second Sustainable Recovery Development Policy Loan. This loan supports reforms to increase investment in public service sectors, attract private investment in public infrastructure, particularly domestic shipping, promote renewable energy, protect the environment and improve climate resilience.

“The Philippine economy remains resilient despite ongoing global and domestic challenges,” said World Bank senior economist Ralph Van Doorn. “The reforms supported by this lending program, if implemented, will encourage private investment, innovation and sustained growth. Through these reforms, the Philippines can transition faster to a greener economy and achieve its environmental and climate goals.”

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